Crime Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of sexual violence.

Rain pours down on the freeway. Even with the wipers on high, seeing is problematic. Kyle and Amy just got off work. They’re heading to their neighborhood bar and grill for happy hour and then dinner before heading home. Traffic has slowed, not to a standstill, but to the point that everyone is being cautious. They pull off at their exit when their phones sound a loud warning tone. Amy checks her phone to see what the warning concerns, hoping there isn’t a tornado in the area.

Emergency Alert

Oak Grove police department has activated an amber alert. The victim is 11-year-old Shannon Brewster. The suspects are unknown. The vehicle is a light-blue 2022 Honda Pilot license plate 6Y897E. Last seen heading east on JFK Drive. If observed, please call 911.

Amy reads the alert out loud to Kyle. She looks over in the left turn lane and spots a vehicle fitting the description. The license plate is a match. She calls 911.

“911 state your emergency.”

“Yes, we have spotted the vehicle identified in the amber alert. It’s on the I-40 offramp at Tucker Street getting ready to head west.”

“Thank you, ma’am. We’ll alert officers in that area.”

“Wait, what should we do?”

“Just go about your day, ma’am. The police will handle it.”

Amy hangs up the phone and taps it on her leg. “Switch lanes, Kyle. I don’t want to let them out of our sight. I’m going to keep updating my Facebook status so people can keep the police informed while we tail them.”

“That sounds like a plan if I ever heard one,” Kyle says as he throws on his blinker and forces his way over.

Status update

Friends and family, Kyle and I are following the kidnappers of Shannon Brewster. I will be updating my Facebook frequently with news regarding her whereabouts. Please keep the police informed as this matter progresses.

·        Rebecca Sikes - Be careful you guys. We love you!

·        Abby Palmer - You’re so brave. Let’s get that girl home safely!

·        Andy Biggs - Standing by. Be careful.

·        Anita Young - This is your mother. Let the police handle it!

Mom, the police might never find her. We might be her only hope. Just stand by and keep the police informed.

Status update

The suspects jumped on I-180 heading north. They have picked up speed now that the rain has stopped but they are careful not to exceed the speed limit. More details to follow.

·        Andy Biggs - Calling 911now.

·        Abby Palmer - Stay with them guys. You got this!

Status update

We are now heading east on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. They just turned north on Lynch.

Status update

They just pulled into an abandoned factory. We are keeping our distance. Posting photo now.

·        Anita Young - You guys are on the wrong side of town. People are found dead there all the time. You’ve done your part. Please, get out of there and come home.

·        Andy Biggs - I agree with your mom. Great job guys. I called 911. Cops are on their way.

Kyle and Amy sit and stare at the derelict factory. “I just can’t leave her here,” Kyle says. “What if he does something to her before the cops get here? That poor girl has been through enough already.”

“What do you want to do?”

“There are some windows over on the side. If we climb up on those barrels, we should be able to see inside. We can keep an eye on her and make sure he doesn’t hurt her before the cops arrive.”

Status update

Kyle and I cannot leave that girl here by herself to suffer more trauma. We are going to keep an eye on her through the windows. If this man tries to hurt her before the police arrive, Kyle and I are going to do everything we can to stop him.

·        Anita Young - For Christ’s sake just leave!!!

·        Rebecca Sikes - You guys are such heroes. Please, don’t get caught.

Kyle and Amy Scurry across the wide-open parking lot in front of the factory over to the side with the windows. Kyle helps Amy up onto a barrel and she peeks in. She gasps and dunks down, her face ghostly white with disbelief.

“What is it,” Kyle asks, concerned, ready to run in there.

“Child pornography. They’re taking pictures of little kids naked. There are a ton of them in there, all locked in cages. One was being photographed as a man yells at her, telling her what to do. Another is having make-up applied like she’s an adult. It’s creepy. God, I feel so bad for them, they look so scared. I have to get a picture of this for evidence.”

Amy slowly stands up and looks in. She takes a few pictures and dunks back down.

Status update

Pictures posted.

·        Abby Palmer - OMG! Is that what I think it is?

·        Oscar Mills - Sorry I’m late to the party, but I have to advise you guys to get the hell out of there!

·        Andy Biggs - I’m going to update the police. They might want backup. Seriously guys, time to go!

·        Bert Young - Your mother is in hysterics, young lady. Get your butt home!

“I Think it’s time for us to get out of here babe. We are way out of our league if these guys catch us.”

Amy’s foot catches on the rim of the barrel as she gets down. The barrel is knocked over with a resounding crash as it bangs into other barrels. Kyle and Amy can hear the commotion inside and run for their car. They are halfway across the parking lot when gunfire erupts, and chunks of pavement are thrown into the air. They make it to the car, whip it around, and take off, a bullet shattering their back window. On their way out, police cars are on their way in.

Status update

Kyle and I are heading home. Our back windshield was shot out, but we are okay. Police were on their way in as we were leaving. Thank you all for your help!

Amy’s photo of the porn-ring in action was a crucial piece of evidence to having everyone involved locked up. Kyle and Amy were recognized by the city for their bravery in assisting the police with shutting it down. During a dinner in their honor, each kid that was saved that night presented them with a flower, a hug, and a heartfelt thank you.

March 30, 2024 17:37

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Mazie Maris
14:43 Apr 11, 2024

Such a captivating story! I really loved how you integrated the comments from the friends and mom (mom made me giggle - SO mom haha!). This kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Great story!


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13:51 Apr 08, 2024

Was totally expecting a social media influencer with the title, so the civilian hero angle was unexpected in a good way. Loved how you used the status updates to keep the high-pace and the conflicting comments of support versus concern as they got closer to the crime. Well done!


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Kristi Gott
23:40 Mar 31, 2024

Great idea to use fast paced crime suspense and facebook updates, plus help publicize the serious problem society faces with human trafficking. This could really have happened. Skillfully written as always, Ty. Great job!


Ty Warmbrodt
23:58 Mar 31, 2024

Thank you Kristi :-)


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Alexis Araneta
14:55 Mar 31, 2024

You kept me on the edge of my seat, Ty ! This was so gripping and action packed. Great job !


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Jorge Soto
01:24 Mar 31, 2024

Interesting structure, very creative!


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Trudy Jas
00:17 Mar 31, 2024

The what if, if only of "the long way home."


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Mary Bendickson
22:16 Mar 30, 2024

Creative mind to come up with this scenario to fit prompt!


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Darvico Ulmeli
20:37 Mar 30, 2024

Wow... Amazing man. I read it in one breath. Such a brilliant idea to use social networks in the story and update statuses. Good story.


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